Hey! Welcome to the second annual Weird Al Week! Over the course of seven days, Milwaukee Record will fill your feed with fresh, funny, and slightly fanatical Al-related materiel. It all leads up to Weird Al’s “Strings Attached” show at the Miller High Life Theatre on July 27! Fun!
Given the rapidly changing nature of pop culture, it’s breathtaking that “Weird Al” Yankovic has been part of it for nearly 40 years. He’s known mostly for his music, but his influence has been seen throughout all different types of media. Our current video landscape would be a lot different without his parody videos and Al TV segments where he cut together interviews with his own silly questions to get a chuckle out of his audiences. The easiest indication that Al has become a mainstay of our pop culture is his massive IMDb page. We scoured it for examples of his best, short moments where he used his genius humor and solid B acting skills to boost other folks’ comedies. Also, the dude has a lot of voice acting credits. He played Darkseid? What?
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp – Jackie Brazen
There once was a time, back in the august year of 2015, when Netflix only dropped surprise shows once in a while instead of three times already since you’ve been reading this article. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp was the unlikeliest of prequels that reunited a murderers’ row of comedic voices who let many other great comedic voices play with them. Al took on the role of a hapless hypnotist wrapped up in secret Russian spy games, perfectly fitting the absurdist tone of the show and letting Al do what he does best: taking something mundane and making it both creepy and funny.
Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! – Uncle Muscles
Much of Al’s work has a barely contained anarchy powering it. It’s most obviously on display in songs like “Albuquerque” or the Stanley Spadowski’s Clubhouse segments of UHF. Al’s appearances on this great work of weird-ass shit let him cut loose to do and say the type of things that might get him locked up were he to do so on a random street corner.
Drunk History – Adolph Eichmann
Drunk History has proven to be a shockingly robust platform for turning a web series into a TV series. Its potent mix of comedians drunk off their asses trying to tell real stories, and actors hamming it up trying to keep the narrative clear is always a fun watch for both drunks and sober fans. Casting Al as one of history’s greatest monsters was a great stroke to help narrator Rachel Bloom show that all Nazis need to be mocked mercilessly. Every. Last. One.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – Bernie The Hot Air Balloon Guy
There will come a sad day when Al will retire or go upstate to a farm where he can run and play with all the one-hit wonders he mocked. The aforementioned Rachel Bloom, who has her own show coming to Milwaukee in September, is certainly poised to take the crown. Her recently finished show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, was full of great style parodies that worked just as well as Al’s—spot-on soundalikes that were catchy in their own right. She took the time to get Al a small role and a short song during the final season which brought together two classic elements: accordions and poop jokes.
The Naked Gun films – Himself
Al has played himself a lot in films and TV, including a recent stint on The Goldbergs where he returned to his classic giant glasses and mustache look that put some of the million dollar de-aging CGI in the Marvel movies to shame. But his best work as himself comes out of the Naked Gun films, which knew how to use his odd relationship with celebrity to stunning effect. The first movie is the best, creating one of the greatest cutaway gags in movie history.